Direct Rail Services (DRS) has won the Community and Environmental Responsibility award at this year’s Rail Freight Group awards.
The prestigious Rail Freight Group awards showcase excellence in all aspects of rail freight and the benefits it brings to the country. This year the awards took on a different feel as they were virtual but it didn’t dampen spirits or detract from the fantastic work happening across the industry.
The Community & Environmental Responsibility award recognises initiatives that demonstrate environmental improvement, for instance, cutting noise, improving air quality and developing new rail freight flows which reduce road congestion, or otherwise reducing environmental impacts.
The judges commended the way DRS has launched a Zero Harm campaign to protect employees, assets and the environment, the company’s extensive work within the community and charitable endeavours, the ground-breaking use of their Class 88 bi-mode locomotives, modifying its Motherwell depot to reduce noise for local neighbours, and its work on using digital displacement hydraulics to reduce emissions which could have a significant impact across the industry.
Chris Connelly, DRS’ Managing Director, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be recognised for our community and environmental work. DRS is committed to working within our communities and working to protect the environment.
“We’re maximising the use of our excellent Class 88 locomotives, which has cut CO2 emissions by 25% over the last year and produce zero exhaust emissions when running on the overhead lines, and are looking at a variety of ways to reduce our overall carbon footprint. Rail freight produces an average of 76% fewer CO2 emissions when compared to road transport so it is a huge part of helping to protect our environment.
“I’m immensely proud of our work in the communities in which we operate. We support a wide range of projects throughout Great Britain from donations to charities, to providing sports kits for youth teams. We also have a scheme where employees can take five days additional leave for volunteering or community work.
“I could not be prouder of all of my colleagues as this is their award and every single one of them has contributed. This is just the beginning and we will be doing all we can to continue this outstanding work.”
DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and supports its decommissioning mission as the UK’s only rail freight operator licenced to transport nuclear material.
NDA Commercial Director and DRS Chair, Kate Ellis, said: “DRS makes a vital contribution to the NDA’s decommissioning mission and I am delighted to see them win such a prestigious award. Everyone in the NDA is committed to making improvements to our communities and our environment and it shows we are all moving the right direction.”